Stoked! The Green Party has picked up on our blueprint for a world-class public transport network for Wellington with modern light rail, from our Fast Forward Wellington plan.
Read the Green Party's full plan here.
The Greens are promising to make this happen, along with a transition to all electric buses, improvements to existing rail services, and building comprehensive safe cycleway networks throughout Wellington, Porirua and the Hutt Cities (also part of our FFW plan).
As we have pointed out before, all of this would cost less than what the government is currently planning to spend on new road projects in Wellington over the coming decades.
Earlier this year Wellington's councils said no to light rail in favour of a bus plan which we believe has problems (see our opinion piece in the Dominion Post). But that plan has fallen over with the Basin Reserve Flyover being rejected, and councillors have said "there is no Plan B".
The first stage would be a light rail line from the railway station to Kilbirnie through Newtown on our proposed 'Constable Connection' route, which last year's Public Transport Spine Study unduly ruled out. This would cost around $400 million (rather than the billion-or-so dollars for the route chosen in the Spine Study with tunnels through Mt Victoria).
The Greens plan aims to do this by 2020. With that main spur built, extensions to the airport, Miramar and Island Bay could follow in the next 5 years.
Car travel in Wellington has already not grown for over a decade. By giving Wellingtonians the choice of frequent, reliable and affordable public transport and safe cycleways, we can continue and improve on this awesome trend and make Wellington a smart low carbon city where talent wants to live. Sounds like a good Plan B to me.